Ever since the Golden Age, the city has been synonymous with the sea. From the marina, where it's a pleasure to stroll in any season, to the lanes of the Old Town, La Rochelle's heritage exudes a strong maritime flavour. This characterful town is an ideal destination for a romantic break or a getaway with friends. Les Collectionneurs have selected a range of charming establishments in La Rochelle to stay or simply to dine.
Though this port town has an airport with regular service from several French towns, it is also easily accessible by train. From Paris it's a mere three hours to the train station at La Rochelle.. The train station with its tower, facades, and mosaics listed as historic monuments, give a taster of the wealth of La Rochelle's architecture. The main hub for La Rochelle inhabitants is the Old Port, the nerve centre of the city where the evening light alone is worth the visit. Visitors can take pleasure in wandering along the Carénage quayside or on the Cour des Dames before climbing the ramparts and strolling along to the town hall, a building in the style of a Gothic chateau with it's ornate facade decorated with gargoyles. The house of Henri II in the Renaissance style and the Cathedral of Saint Louis are also worth the detour.
What is there to do in La Rochelle? La Rochelle Aquarium, one of the largest in Europe, is ideal for children. The Maritime Museum and the Museum of the New World take you back through the history of the town ad its relationship with the West Indies and the Americas. In summer, seek out the beaches at Minimes or la Concurrence, located five minutes' walk from the centre of town, for a delightful time.
For holidays with family or friends or a romantic couples' break, the Charente-Maritime region combines a wealth of history with a touch of the good life. The old port has been the beating heart of the town for a millennium. From its origins as the small fishing port of Aunis, La Rochelle rapidly became a prosperous city thanks to its maritime trade. From the the 12th Century it became the largest French marina on the Atlantic Coast. The "Ocean Port" today constitutes one of the most pleasant places in which to live. The towers of Tour Saint Nicolas, Tour de la Chaine and Tour de la Lanterne form a protective trio around the city. The gate of the Great Clock dating to mediaeval times marks the entrance to the Old Town. Behind the ramparts is hidden a labyrinth of cobbled streets lined with stone arcades supporting ancient buildings. This pedestrian maze invites you to wander between half-timbered houses and historical landmarks such as the covered market and the nuns' cloisters. A stay in a charming hotel in the historical centre is an idyllic base from which to explore La Rochelle on foot.
Les Collectionneurs recommend hotels and guesthouses of character where high standards and quality are watchwords. Comfortable rooms offer all modern comforts, from a fully equipped bathroom with bath or shower, to high quality bedding and technological essentials such as flat screen TV, air conditioning and free wifi access. The tastefully decorated rooms come with beautiful linens for the comfort of their guests. Pets are also welcome in these establishments.
Staying in the very centre of town is a true privilege. The ideal option to chill out is to reserve a hotel room in an establishment with a private garden in a district known for its 19th-century mansions. To blow away the cobwebs, board a boat over the Antioch Straits to Fort Boyard, and the Isles of Ré, Oléron and Aix. Just opposite La Rochelle, l'Île de Ré stretches out over a length of 25 kilometres.
The Vauban citadel which surrounds the small port of Saint-Martin-de-Ré now forms an enclosure full of houses with white facades overhung with Romanesque tiles. This enchanting environment is an invitation to relaxation. La Baronnie Hotel & Spa, occupying a beautiful 18th-century residence nestled in lush greenery invites you to relax in a romantically-decorated double room overlooking the garden. To the South West, Sainte-Marie-de-Ré offers a landscape of alleyways and flower-filled walled gardens. There's nothing quite like a thalasso break on this wild coast, at the spa Atlante Wellness Hotel boasting an indoor heated seawater pool with massage jets and an outdoor heated pool, as well as sauna and steam room. The elegant rooms with private balconies create an enchanting environment. Nothing compares with starting the day with a buffet breakfast with a sea view.
To perfect a weekend in Charente-Maritime what better than to sit down at a table at a gourmet restaurant selected by les Collectionneurs? These restaurateurs express their own identity through their cuisine and share their love of the land whilst adding a twist. The cuisine of the region showcases fish and seafood. Among the culinary specialities on offer, Marennes and Oléron oysters and Charron mussels compete with sea bass and langoustines from the Atlantic coast. The sophisticated will enjoy tasting a Charentais wine from the vineyards extending from La Rochelle to Cognac and Angoulême. To take time to explore these beautiful establishments and prolong the stay under the pretext of escapism, travellers can book a night in a room in La Rochelle or the surrounding area.
To allow the restaurateurs and hoteliers of our community to once again share special moments with you, and welcome you under the best possible conditions in their establishments, specific COVID-19 health measures have been adopted along with additional measures to best adapt these policies to their unique type of operations. For details of the health policies implemented, please contact the particular establishment directly.
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